SQUAD GAME: Five changes England could make for Czech Republic
Kalvin Phillips in action against Scotland
Monday’s Euro 2020 results ensured England will be in the Last 16 so we look at five changes England could make for Czech Republic.
As Finland finished 3rd in Group B with 3 points and Ukraine finished 3rd in Group C with 3 points, England are now guaranteed to qualify as at least one of the best 3rd placed teams whatever the result against the Czech Republic.
With that in mind, Gareth Southgate may be inclined to make more changes than initially planned to give some game time to those who need it.
Here are five changes England could make for Czech Republic from the 0-0 draw with Scotland.
Reece James and Luke Shaw got the nod against Scotland and succeeded in keeping a clean sheet. However, it’s fair to say that England lacked an attacking thrust from those positions.
Ben Chilwell, who got three goals and five assists for Chelsea last season, is yet to play a minute at the tournament and could be in line to come in at left-back. Other options are Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier, who lined up against Croatia in the first game.
The partnership between John Stones and Tyrone Mings has been one of the highlights for Gareth Southgate’s side at the tournament so far but Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is waiting in the wings.
He injured his ankle against Aston Villa on 8th May and has not played a minute of football since but it is known that Southgate views Maguire as one of his most reliable players. With England already through, it may be the perfect time for him to get some minutes in his legs. Conor Coady and Ben White are also yet to play at Euro 2020.
The midfield trio of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Mason Mount were so effective against Croatia but were guilty of being too safe against Scotland, failing to provide decent service for Harry Kane.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is in a similar position to Maguire with Southgate known to view Henderson as one of his key players but he has only played 45 minutes since getting injured against Everton in February. There is a chance he may come in but some fans are keen to see Jude Bellingham get a start. The 17 year-old has impressed in his England performances so far and is likely to offer a bit more thrust going forwards.
Mount has been used as the number 10 thus far and has put in some steady performances. However, Jack Grealish was man-of-the-match in both England warm-up games playing in that position and there are calls for him to get a start.
Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden have been given the starting berths so far and have been the brightest spark of England’s attacking play. Sterling scored the winner against Croatia whilst Foden hit the post and against Scotland, it looked like if anything would happen then it would come through them.
However, Jadon Sancho is yet to play a minute at the tournament despite having the most non-penalty goal involvements of any England player in the squad in the last 3 seasons. Marcus Rashford has only appeared as a late substitute and those two could come in to the side.
Whilst Harry Kane’s first two performances have been poor, Southgate all-but confirmed he will start against the Czech Republic. However, this was before it was confirmed that England would go through whatever the result and Southgate may now opt to give him a rest ahead of the Last 16 where England’s talisman will be desperately needed.
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